The European Union has signed a contract with GlaxoSmithKline to supply up to 220,000 doses of research therapy for sotrovimab monoclonal antibodies against COVID-19, as he stated today.
The drug, which is being developed jointly with US company Vir Biotechnology, could be used to treat high-risk patients with mild symptoms who do not need supplemental oxygen, the commission said.
The deal is a boost to GSK’s work on possible treatments for COVID-19 after the company played a limited role in vaccine development. Instead of developing its own coronavirus vaccine, GSK has focused its efforts on helping other companies and has partnered with Sanofi to develop a vaccine.
In a statement, GSK today confirmed the agreement, saying it was a “critical step forward in the treatment of COVID-19 cases in Europe”.
The drug is now included in the rolling evaluation process by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-synthesized proteins that mimic the ability of the immune system to fight the coronavirus. They attach to the protein spike and thus prevent the virus from attaching to human cells.
The European Commission has concluded around 200 contracts for different medical countermeasures worth more than € 12 billion.
Under the current framework agreement with GlaxoSmithKline, Member States can purchase sotrovimab (VIR-7831), if and when needed, after obtaining either an emergency permit in the Member State concerned or an (conditional) marketing authorization at EU level by the European Medicines Agency.